Fox News' website briefly appeared to be defaced this afternoon in what the network is calling an "internal production problem." For several minutes, the site's foremost story was changed to the headline "WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE," with the blurb beneath it reading, "STUFF YO." Another headline read, "HERE IS SOME STUFF FO YO," but the website — aside from what were seemingly a few display glitches — was otherwise untouched. Even the headlines regarding zombies and Apple's "Maverick Sea Lion" were actually old stories that had been resurfaced. Fox's site has since returned to normal operations.
As Fox notes, the site's oddities may simply have been caused by a behind-the-scenes publishing error, rather than a hack or intentional defacement. The network quickly moved to explain the technical issues on Twitter, removing suspicion that Fox had become the latest network to be hit in a spate of media-related hackings that have occurred this year. With the site's errors appearing far closer to vandalism as it was, such a hack on Fox News would have fallen quite far from the recent, politically motivated hackings that have largely been credited to the Syrian Electronic Army.
Update: In a statement, Fox tells us that the error was the result of a home page prototype being published onto its main site. The full statement from Fox's chief digital officer, Jeff Misenti, is below.
During routine website maintenance, a homepage prototype was accidently moved to the actual site. As with any mistake in testing, engineers noticed the error and quickly brought the site back to its normal function.